Thursday, April 24

Ireland

I think the best way to describe my trip is through a picture tour, so...scroll down and visit my favorite spots in Ireland!

THE CLIFFS OF MOHER






The tower overlooking the cliffs--wow.







They have these signs all over...to stop people from, you know, hurling themselves from the cliffs.

Yes, we went past that sign and stood on the edge of the world! It was great...and scary...and amazing!




Me and my friend Sarah from Australia.


Not quite sure about this one...but it shows you just how right-on-the-edge we were!

Sarah is a good photographer.

DRIVING & LITTLE COUNTRYSIDE ATTRACTIONS


This is our minibus that caught the eye of everyone we passed...I mean, how could it not? The bright green stands out for sure, and the clearly labeled "Paddywagon" with a big leprechaun head kinda makes people point and laugh at you when you are driving through town. On the upside, it was always easy to spot when it was amongst other tour buses at all the hot spots.


During the famine they made starving people build these walls of rocks just so they could have work to do to earn money.


We drove along this tiny, curvy, bumpy coastal road along the western shores of Ireland, It was a beautiful ride!


Views from the drive


We stopped at Corcomroe Abbey, which still has 12th century Spanish graffiti on the walls. Super Cool.


This is the Rock of Cashel, where supposedly St. Patrick himself was converted to Christianity in the 5th Century AD.

BLARNEY CASTLE










Going down to kiss the stone... You have to hold down and bend backwards to get to it!

Kissing the Stone! I now have the gift of the Gab. Yes. I'll talk your ear off.

The grounds of the castle, they were so beautiful!! It is so easy to see how stories of ferries and leprechauns and other mythical creatures came about when wandering in a place like this. I half expected tiny winged people to come sprouting out of the ground myself! It was magical.






Witches stone cause it looks like the face of a witch...?



The wishing steps! Make a wish while closing your eyes and walking backwards down them, and in a year your wish will come true. I'm counting down the days!

She snapped my picture right as I was saying "right, ok, I have my wish!"

Sarah walked behind me to make sure I didn't crash! And there were two other girls from Philadelphia that took pictures for us.

The tour ended on Sunday around 5:00. It was somewhat of a relief actually because our bus driver/tour guide was a little off her rocker that third day. She woke up an hour and a half late, after being out until 5:30am drinking. Everyone on the bus was sure she was still intoxicated after about the 3rd curb she hit. What can I say, she was Irish.

Sunday night was nice because i just chilled. I didn't really go out at night because as we drove back into the city our driver pointed out all the places we should really stay away from especially at night because they were a bit dodgy. And if she thought they were dodgy, I was definitely staying far, far away. Problem is that these areas were quite close to the main streets and I could see myself, while looking around, easily walking into these drug dealing zones. Besides, there comes a certain time of the night in Ireland where everyone is so drunk anyways, it's not fun anymore. So it was an early, stay in and chill night for me. It was cool though because it let me relax some of the tension that had been building in me all day riding in that bus...

Monday, I met up with Sarah to go to Kilmainham Gaol (Jail). It was probably the most worth-while thing I did while in Dublin. I learned a lot about the history of the death penalty, and a time in Ireland where people really struggled to be free. Any resistance was taken to the jail and shot or hung by public execution. People were starving so badly because of the potato famine that they would commit crimes just to be put in Kilmainham so they could get a guaranteed meal. Because no matter how bad the food was in there, it was better than having no food at all outside of it. Ok, enough with the history lesson. More pictures!


The exercise yard, where prisoners would have to walk with their heads down in a single file circle for one hour every day.


One of the prisoners painted this one the wall after they executed her husband.

After the jail, I went to Trinity College which is one of the oldest colleges in the world, and it houses the book of kells which I saw, and the long library. No photos were allowed, which is too bad because it was all pretty cool.





I did some more sight seeing/wandering later that day before heading off to the airport to catch my flight.


the Guinness Storehouse...


The Famous Temple Bar!


Of course. They had Adds like this for the black stuff everywhere!

Well, That's my trip in a nutshell! It was so much fun and I had a really great time...and I had no problem getting back into the country! woot! Look out for more exciting stuff this weekend when I take a day trip to Windsor Castle with Linda--weather permitting!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES ! these photos are magical -like you say there is a feeling that fairies leprachuans and even some of your Irish ancestors could suddenly appear under that 'twisty, rootsy tree or on the bank of the Liffy ! you photographed (with perfect lighting - I might add). Keep up the great photo tours but give up the wild, curb bumping paddywagon OK?
Safe travel adventures, Poppins !
SCSC

Marie said...

Wow, I now feel like I have been to Ireland! Great pictures Nic! And . . . uh . . . I hate to tell you this, but . . . your efforts at kissing the blarney stone were all for naught . . . coz . . . you already had the gift of gab!! Don't forger, no meetings at the chapel this week as it is stake conference in Maidstone! (Wouldn't want you to show up and think we'd all been transported without taking you along!) XXOO

skousenmom said...

Ok, now we just have to find a way to go to Ireland sometime! Although I think I'll look for a different tour company if you h ave to drive with drunks! Glad you made it safely!!! Anyway, you took some amazing pictures as always. We'll have to get some of them framed when you get home. You might even be able to sell some--who knows? You can add to your income by doing something you love--that could be cool. I'm not sure the effort to kiss the blarney stone was worth it--as Marie said--you already have the gift of gab! Hey, something you may have inherited from me! Anyway, glad you had no trouble getting back in to the country too. Keep taking those amazing pictures and keep sharing your adventures. We ALL love to see and hear about them. Love you! Mom